Geelong has a fantastic community that is rich in its diversity, with many well established multicultural communities from across the world calling the region 'home'.
As people get older, making connections to the local community can be a challenge, especially if English is not the first language. This booklet aims to inspire those older people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds who may be experiencing loneliness, and are finding it difficult to know how to take that first step to connect.
Our local storytellers have shared a range of experiences, from joining and creating links and friendships when they first arrived, to the challenges and changes faced as they age. The individuals that have shared their wise words are culturally and linguistically diverse and their heritage stems from many areas of the globe, The Netherlands, Croatia, Italy and India.
On newly arriving some of the wise words shared included:
'Church was a great place to meet people and connect with the community.'
'Cultural club was a great way to meet others and to celebrate our culture with food and music.'
'I made friends with a neighbour and she helped me to find out what was available in the area.'
On growing older the storytellers tell of different challenges that come to the fore. There is a recognition that things are different however there is still a positive focus. Some of the wise words shared include:
'Frank really enjoyed going to the local men's shed and talking men's things.'
'A friend introduced me to a craft group that meets regularly over coffee.'
'I go for a walk around my local streets in my neighbourhood or at the local shops and talk to the people that I meet.'
'As I get older the neighbourhood house is a great place to meet people.'
'Now as we get older, our health issues are making it more difficult , so now we go to the club to share a meal rather than for the music and dancing.'
Our storytellers remind us to 'never give up' and that 'finding out where to go for help or just to be able to socialise with others is not always easy' and 'talking to people is the best way to start.'
We would like to thank the Department of Health and Human Services for the opportunity to make this vision happen.
Most importantly, we would like to sincerely thank the people that have so generously shared their stories as the experiences in their lives will assist others to enrich theirs.
CEO City of Greater Geelong
Need to know more...
For more information about groups and connecting with your local community, please do not hesitate to contact us at the City of Greater Geelong on 03 5272 5272.
Other useful numbers
The City of Greater Geelong acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.